Archive | Tech

I Love Spambots

As placed on my most popular article, which was stolen (but credited) from Tuoi Tre: (http://www.ispithotfire.com/2011/09/12/finding-prostitutes-in-vietnam-thank-you-tuoi-tre/)

Spam Content
I like the idea of a Ms. Buena (spam robot) who finds my prostitution post very useful and also happens to be from a Tijuana website of the same subject (persuasion? tilt? what is the word I need?).

New comment on your post “Finding Prostitutes in Vietnam (Thank You Tuoi Tre)”

Author : Cindy Buena (IP: 201.171.87.116 , 201.171.87.116.dsl.dyn.telnor.net)

E-mail : [email protected]

URL : http://www.tijuana-prostitutes.com

Whois : http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/201.171.87.116

Comment:

Hi,

This is an informative article of how things are. Many men find Vietnam Girls as the most pretty of Asian girls. Thx CB

I deleted this spam post, of course, but it can live here forever for the Google Indexing Robot. So I guess the spam was successful after all.

0

Amazon Kindle 4 vs Kindle 3 Keyboard in 750 Words [Review]

As mentioned before, I am a big Kindle fan. It’s a great accelerant (made-up word) for reading in that you can carry many books at one, it has a small form factor, and it is ultra convenient to use.

It made me a better reader.

big-viewer-3G-01-lrg._V188696038_ KT-slate-02-lg._V166940136_

A few weeks ago, I swapped my Kindle 3 Keyboard for a Kindle 4 (Ad-supported, no 3G, no keyboard). I initially planned to get the Kindle Touch, but it seemed slow when I tried it in person, and I didn’t really feel the need to have a touch screen. At the same time, I really liked my Kindle 3 and didn’t know if going to Kindle 4 was really an upgrade, particularly after seeing mixed reviews on both the Touch and Kindle 4.

I’ll address those points about the Kindle 4 right now in this quick product comparison:

  1. The Kindle 4 is much faster than a Kindle 3 in terms of page turning. Overall, the device is much more responsive in all areas, and you can tell so very easily.
  2. The missing keyboard makes no practical difference unless you regularly write notes in your books. I do not; I do highlight however, which is just as easy to do as it was before. Even when you do type, the faster response time of the device makes things pretty ok.
  3. The ads in the Kindle don’t matter. This is coming from someone who is used to no ads on the Kindle 3. They don’t in any way bother or affect my experience with the device. If they affect you, you can always pay $30 to drop the ads.
  4. The Kindle 3 is a great size. When you look and feel it without a case, it’s very light, in a positive way. The Kindle 4 is even smaller and lighter, without affecting your ability to hold or use the device. The screen size is the same, so you’re not sacrificing reading area either.
  5. There are some complaints about how the screen is worse on the 4 versus the 3. This is likely true. If you look closely at the 4, words can start to look a little pixelated. There’s also some ghosting (not sure if the right word). Imagine when you put up a newspaper to a light, you can see some of the content from the other side seep through. That’s kind of what it looks like, but this doesn’t have any real impact on reading. If it is a problem, however, you can force the device to do a full refresh on each page turn so there is no residue from previous pages. This is something in which it sounds bad if you read reviews about it, but doesn’t matter much when you’re actually using it.
  6. Yes, there’s less memory (2 gb vs 4 gb) and no headphone jack on the newer Kindle. But based on my usage, I don’t expect to fill up even 1GB before I end up buying a new device in the years ahead. As much I like the idea of storing thousands of books on my Kindle, the reality is that is too many to 1) buy 2) actually read. I imagine that most users are more like me. I read a book every week or so at best, so 100 books is already 2 years worth. Most books I’ve seen are less than 1 MB, so that’s nearly 2,000 books worth of memory even for the Kindle 4. (You could easily download enough books to fill up the memory card, but could you actually read all of them?) I never use the Kindle for browsing online except for the Kindle store nor do I listen to music on it – I have better ways to do both.

And so, the Kindle 4 is great! Everything negative that I’ve read about it is technically true. But none of that really matters. It IS better than a Kindle 3, and at $79 for the ad-supported one, it is a must buy if you have any interest in an e-reader.

If you already have a Kindle 3, however, it’s not worth it to upgrade unless you can get someone to pay you $79, so you basically exchange your Kindle. Even though the Kindle 3 Keyboard is currently priced more than the 4, it’s worth a straight exchange.

0

China, You Bunch of Hackers [WordPress Security]

CloudFlare

Above is my website traffic from the last month according to CloudFlare. One of the interesting things is the data on hacking attempts, seen in the middle. About 50% of all attempts are from China, so either there are a ton of hackers (by pure quantity not relative percentage) there, or Chinese hackers are just doing a poor job of hiding themselves from Cloudflare.

Also, if you’re wondering, Cloudflare is a free (for limited use) CDN (content delivery network) service I found out about after starting to use W3 Total Cache, the well regarded caching plugin for self-hosted WordPress installations. Cloudflare speeds up your website loading by caching your primary files on its servers worldwide while also providing enhanced security by analyzing spam / bad behavior attempts across all sites that use Cloudflare. Kind of like Akisment in that sense.

I haven’t been able to verify if it really is faster, but it wouldn’t surprise me as Bluehost (my host) seems to be considered a fairly slow host (from online conversations I have read).

If you’re looking into enhanced security for your WordPress Blog, I use the following:

How truly effective these things are, I have no idea. I can only base it on other people’s feedback and my very basic knowledge about security.

0

Apple Doesn’t Protect Your Private Information and Documents [Security and Privacy]

security

Image by followtheseinstructions via Flickr

In an email to [email protected], July 21st, 2011:

Hi Chung Ahn,

Thank you for your help.

However, I would still like to understand your policy regarding the sensitive company information and paperwork that I faxed over. I would like to make sure that they are secure and destroyed, as requested, as they are no longer required by Apple.

Can you clarify regarding these issues? So far, I feel like Apple has been purposely ignoring this question as I have asked it multiple times previously without any type of response back to me.

Sincerely,

Michael

And before that, to Apple support via email on July 19, 2011:

Also, can you let me know what will happen with the internal company documents that I sent to Apple earlier?

And before that, to Apple support via email on July 18, 2011:

Also, will Apple destroy all physical and digital copies of my company documents? As you can imagine, their security is very important to us.

Background on the situation:

For the last six weeks, I have been helping a local company secure a developer’s license for Apple iOS, which would cover things like iPhone and iPad apps. Since you need a credit card to purchase the $99 Developer’s License, credit cards are not so common in Vietnam (credit cards from Vietnam also tend to be rejected by American payment processers because a lot of credit card fraud comes from here), and I have an American credit card, I was asked to help out. You can go with two options for the license, a Company or Individual, with the difference being what name is shown under the App Store. For example, it could be “Cool Game by Michael” or “Cool Game by This Company”.

We tried going with the company license, and were asked to send in official company documentation. We did that, faxing it in. Later, we decided the corporate program was not such a good fit, so we asked how to switch back to the individual program.

Throughout this, Apple Customer Service for the iOS Developer Program had been pretty solid, with responses within one business day.

AppleDeveloper

Once I knew how to complete the process, the remaining question was, what would happen to the company documents?  Apple requires you to fax in pretty sensitive information, it’s not like a letter saying you want in to the program. It’s official, private business information that’s registered with your local government.

That said, I wanted to make sure the documents were going to be destroyed to avoid issues later on, particularly as Apple no longer needed them.

Originally, I asked about the documents in addition to other questions. Twice, Apple’s support agent answered the other questions but not that one. Maybe the agent failed to see it, but I suspected he was avoiding answering the question, which only worried me even more.

The third time, I asked directly, only about that particular issue. It has now been a week with no reply.

It’s completely unacceptable for a company like Apple (which is based in the US, a country that is very vocal about privacy and data security issues) to just ignore the question and issue.

Where are you, Apple?

0